Father Ted


Happy birthday Pauline McLynn, 48 today.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

Part 6 is here.

Euro-centric is comfortable but our future is in Aisia


Quote of the day:

We allow ourselves to take on an isolation of the mind . . .

. . .  We go to where we’re comfortable . . . Going to Australia is like going to the rich neighbours for lunch. Going to England is like going back to stay with your grandmother.

And it’s all very comfortable  and it’s all very within the  sort of Anglo-Saxon English speaking world but the future for New Zealand is Asia.

Already China is our number 2 trading partner soon to be our number one trading partner and we are still teaching Latin and French and German in our secondary schools. We should have a whole generation of New Zealanders already that speak Mandarin or even Bahasa so they can deal in Malaysia or Indonesia .

We are a Southern Asian nation economically but we still have a very Euro-centric mindset.

David Mahon, head of Mahon China Investment Management on Q&A.

Did you see the one about . . .


Chris Trotter on party central – Dim Post at his satirical best again.

I feel such a failure – Quote Unquote’s confounded by his chidlren’s cultural choices.

Just when you think we’re over the recessionary hump – Alf Grumble is worried about camel milk.

Packing myself – Today Is My Birthday shows bigger is better when it comes to suitcases.

Otago Museum Kiwiblog took time out from the International Science Festival to visit the museum.  He also did  the Speights Brewery tour and a Monarch cruise

Stimulus in pictures – Not PC  shows what the money didn’t do.

Why I’ve fallen behind on my reading – Karl du Fresne didn’t find much to like on television.

They told us it would be cold . . .


The people who warn us about weather told us the second half of winter would be cold.

This weekend they’re right.

It was -3 when we went up Mt Iron in Wanaka yesterday morning.

It got down to -8 in  the Lindis Pass late yesterday afternoon and it was -3 when we got home.

We woke to a very hard frost and even with four layers of merino and sunshine it doesn’t feel like it’s got past zero yet.

Grant Mc Naughton won but where was Jim?


Grant McNaughton, a farm consultant from Oamaru but representing the Tasman Region, is the 2010 National Bank Young Farmer of the Year.

It was his second and final attempt at the title. Contestants can make multiple appearances at District and Regional level but are limited to two attempts in the Grand Final.

Home town favourite, Pete Gardyne, who farms sheep and beef near Gore came a well deserved second.

The show was broadcast live at 7.30 when, as Gravedodger pointed out in a comment last week, most people would have been watching the rugby. We tuned in to the delayed broadcast and while I was interested in what we saw, I was left with a question about what, or more to the point who, we didn’t see.

Where was Jim Hopkins?

He’s the one who goes to all the regional finals where does a commentary on the practicals and compeers the evening show. He’s also the man with the roving mic on duty for the three days of events at the Grand Final and the one who warms the audience up for the evening show before the cameras roll.

Yet you’d had had to been watching the broadcast very closely last night to catch a glimpse of him.

The show’s about the contestants not Jim, but given what an integral part he is of every other section of the contest you’d think there might be more than a blink-and-you’d-miss-it shot of him in the broadcast.

Kate Taylor has been at the final and blogs on it here.

Not where they’re from but what they do here which matters


Whether our ancestors, paddled, sailed, or flew here, they brought with them a variety of skills and cultures which have helped make us and our country what it is.

Now that our birth rate is hovering at or below natural replacement level, immigration is at least as important as it was in the past.

You’d think that means we’d welcome people bringing their expertise and money, but that’s not necessarily the case, especially when it comes to those wanting to buy farm land.

The Herald reports:

. . .  at least 24 countries have been given approval to invest in the agricultural sector, covering 154,855ha and a wide range of sectors from sheep farming to viticulture.

 I suspect they mean that people from at least 24 countries, which is different from the countries themselves, and that’s not necessarily bad.

Westpac chief economist Brendan O’Donovan says foreign investment generally has been an integral part of New Zealand’s growth.

“Because we’ve always had a capital shortage and we’ve been very dependent on foreign funding and foreign firms,” O’Donovan explains. . .


New Zealanders buy into foreign companies and land, he says. “If you expect to be able to buy land in other countries then you’ve got to be prepared to sell it here.”

Adolf at No Minister, agrees and points out that New Zealanders may well have bought a greater area of land in other countries than foreigners have bought here  over the last five years.

Although not all countries allow non-nationals to buy land which is one of the issues Federated Farmers is considering. While mindful of the importance of overseas investment, Feds president Don Nicolson says:

“. . .  I think it’s very important that we have reciprocal rights for purchasing in the countries that may be willing to invest in our land and assets here.

“We can only lease [land in China] so at best people are saying surely these people should only be able to lease land in New Zealand.”

New Zealanders buy land in North and South America, Australia, South Africa and central Europe, he says.

“I think if you talk this through with people clearly they need to understand that we need capital flows into this country … and when you start going through how it plays out people do back up.”

Federated Farmers is reviewing its position on foreign ownership.

“Our position of old has been that, well they can’t take the land with them, provided they acknowledge New Zealand law and institutions and provided they pay taxes in New Zealand then what is the issue?” Nicolson says.

“We want to have capital flow into this country – the last thing we need is anything that would spook capital flight.”

However, Fonterra chair Sir  Henry van der Heyden is less enthusiastic. He  said  low-cost pastoral agriculture is New Zealand’s point of difference and warned we must be careful not to give away our competitive advantage.

“Or we will pay the price,” van der Heyden says.

Van der Heyden wants to start a public debate over who should own prime pastoral land and questions why, given our temperate climate and soil and water resources, land is not seen as a strategic asset.

“Why shouldn’t it be under [New Zealand] control and ownership?”

He didn’t explain how this view sits with the co-operative’s farming ventures in China and Chile, although, at least in China,  Fonterra leases land because foreigners aren’t permitted to own it.

It’s unfortunate that the discussion on overseas ownership now is being driven by fears the 16 Crafar farms may be bought by a Chinese company. Policy on matters as important as this should be formed on general principle not particular prejudice and, as O’Donovan says:

“The key thing in all of this is to set clear rules because what we’re talking about is property rights, you can’t go changing the rules midstream,” he says.

“If there’s any no-go areas for foreign investors then it should be put on a register so it’s clear … and everyone knows what the rules are.”

It’s not just potential purchasers who need certainty, would-be vendors do too.

Land sales are more emotive than other assets because people have a perception the family silver is being sold, he says.

“There’s a limited difference between a foreigner owning a company here versus the land underneath that company.

“The question is always what do you do with the money [from] the asset that’s been sold,” O’Donovan says.

“If you think that you can invest it either somewhere else in New Zealand or overseas and generate a greater return on it, then where’s the issue.”

This is something which is  often overlooked. For every buyer there must be a seller. If money is brought in to New Zealand to purchase land the vendor is then able to invest the proceeds in more land or other ventures and the foreigners investing here bring more than money.

An Italian bought a farm in the Hakataramea Valley, realised it was similar to where he grew up in northern Italy which produced good wines. He planted  grapes and last year opened the Waitaki Valley’s first winery.

We have friends who came from overseas, invested money they brought with them in farms, settled on them with their families and are making a positive contribution to their new communities and New Zealand agriculture.

These examples may well be able to be countered by anecdotes of other people who took more than they contributed but bad farming isn’t peculiar to foreigners.

Regardless of who owns the land, it’s now who they are or where they come from, but what they are permitted to do with it which is most important.

July 11 in history


On July 11:

472  After being besieged in Rome by his own generals, Western Roman Emperor Anthemius was captured in the Old St. Peter’s Basilica and put to death.

Tremissis Anthemius-RIC 2842.jpg

911 Signing of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between Charles the Simple and Rollo of Normandy.

1274 Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, was born (d. 1329).

1302 Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag in Dutch) – a coalition around the Flemish cities defeats the king of France’s royal army.

Battle of Courtrai2.jpg

1346  Charles IV of Luxembourg was elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1405  Ming admiral Zheng He set sail to explore the world for the first time.


1476 Giuliano della Rovere was appointed bishop of Coutances.


1576 Martin Frobisher sighted Greenland.

1616 Samuel de Champlain returned to Quebec.

1735 Mathematical calculations suggested that on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979.


1740   Jews were expelled from Little Russia.

1750  Halifax, Nova Scotia was almost completely destroyed by fire.

1767 John Quincy Adams, President of the United States, was born (d. 1848).

1776 Captain James Cook began his third voyage.

1789 Jacques Necker was dismissed as France’s Finance Minister sparking the Storming of the Bastille.

1796  The United States took possession of Detroit from Great Britain under terms of the Jay Treaty.


1798  The United States Marine Corps was re-established.

USMC logo.svg

1801  French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons made his first comet discovery.

1804 Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr mortally wounded former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton in a duel.


1833  Noongar Australian aboriginal warrior Yagan, wanted for leading attacks on white colonists in Western Australia, was killed.


1848  Waterloo railway station in London opened.

Waterloo station main entrance.JPG

1859 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens  was published.

Tales serial.jpg

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempted to invade Washington, D.C..


1877 Kate Edgar became the first woman in New Zealand to gain a university degree and the first woman in the British Empire to earn a BA.

Kate Edger becomes NZ’s first woman graduate

1882  The British Mediterranean fleet began the Bombardment of Alexandria in Egypt as part of the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War.

Bombardment of Alexandria.jpg

1888 Carl Schmitt, German philosopher and political theorist, was born  (d. 1985).

1889 Tijuana, Mexico, was founded.

1893  The first cultured pearl was obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto.


1893  A revolution led by the liberal general and politician, José Santos Zelaya, takes over state power in Nicaragua.

1895 The Lumière brothers demonstrated film technology to scientists.
Fratelli Lumiere.jpg

1897  Salomon August Andrée left Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North pole by balloon.


1899  E. B. White, American writer, was born  (d. 1985).

1906 The Gillette-Brown murder inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy.


1914  Babe Ruth made his debut in Major league baseball.

 1916 – Reg Varney, English actor, was born (d. 2008).

1916 – Gough Whitlam, 21st Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1919  The eight-hour working day and free Sunday became law in the Netherlands.

1920 Yul Brynner, Russian-born actor, was born (d. 1985).

1920 In the East Prussian plebiscite the local populace decided to remain with Weimar Germany


1921 A truce was called in the Irish War of Independence.


1921 – Former U.S. President William Howard Taft was sworn in as 10th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, becoming the only person to ever be both President and Chief Justice.

1921 – The Red Army captured Mongolia from the White Army and establishes the Mongolian People’s Republic.

1922 The Hollywood Bowl opened.


1929 David Kelly, Irish actor, was born.

1929 The Gillingham Fair fire disaster killed 15 in England.

1932 Bob McGrath, American actor, was born.


1936 The Triborough Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic.

1940 World War II: Vichy France regime was formally established. Henri Philippe Pétain became Prime Minister of France.

1943  Massacres of Poles in Volhynia.

1943 – World War II: Allied invasion of Sicily – German and Italian troops launched a counter-attack on Allied forces in Sicily.


1947 The Exodus 1947 headed to Palestine from France.

Exodus 1947 after British takeover (note damage to makeshift barricades). Banner says: "Haganah Ship Exodus 1947".

1950 Bonnie Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.

1955  The phrase In God We Trust was added to all U.S. currency.


1957 Prince Karim Husseini Aga Khan IV inherited the office of Imamat as the 49th Imam of Shia Imami Ismaili worldwide, after the death of Sir Sultan Mahommed Shah Aga Khan III.

1959 Richie Sambora, American musician (Bon Jovi), was born.

1960 Independence of Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger.

1960  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was first published.


1962 Pauline McLynn, Irish actress, was born.


1962  First transatlantic satellite television transmission.

1971  Copper mines in Chile were nationalised.

1973 A Brazilian Boeing 707 crashed near Paris on approach to Orly Airport, killing 123 of the 134 on-board.

1977 Martin Luther King Jr. was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.


1978 Los Alfaques Disaster: A truck carrying liquid gas crashed and exploded at a coastal campsite in Tarragona, Spain killing 216 tourists.

1979  America’s first space station, Skylab, was destroyed as it re-enterws the Earth’s atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

1983 A Boeing 727 crashed into hilly terrain after a tail strike in Cuenca, Ecuador, claiming 119 lives.

1987  According to the United Nations, the world population crossed the 5,000,000,000 mark.

1990 Oka Crisis: First Nations land dispute in Quebec began.


1991  A Nationair DC-8 crashed during an emergency landing at Jeddah, killing 261.

1995  A Cubana de Aviacion Antonov An-24 crashds into the Caribbean off southeast Cuba killing 44 people.

1995   Over 8000 Bosnian men and children (mostly Bosniaks) were killed by Serbian troops commanded by Ratko Mladic.

2006  209 people were killed in a series of bomb attacks in Mumbi.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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